Days ago, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) released the Keystone West High Speed Rail Study, which aimed “to evaluate the feasibility of options to reduce rail travel times and increase trip frequency” of Amtrak service between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg.
You can comment on the study here until the end of March, 2015. My comment is copied below.
Currently, Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian operates one passenger train per day in each direction on tracks owned by Norfolk Southern. The trip currently takes 5.5 hours. It is enjoyable (with a cafe car) and scenic (e.g. Horseshoe Curve).
As it stands, Pittsburgh is quite a hike from Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and New York. Improved frequency (and someday speed) of service will create an attractive option for Pittsburgh’s growing number of car-free residents and travelers, not to mention those of Greensburg and Harrisburg. Existing service east of Harrisburg is already fast, frequent, and electrified, therefore improvements to the Keystone West corridor would strengthen Pittsburgh’s connections to Philadelphia, New York, and the East Coast.
My comment to PennDOT:
To whom it may concern,